When can I see the rare ‘Flower Moon’ over Suffolk?

Graham Meadows took this photograph of the super moon in March 2020, but the Flower Moon will be the

Graham Meadows took this photograph of the super moon in March 2020, but the Flower Moon will be the last chance to see a supermoon until 2021 Picture: GRAHAM MEADOWS - Credit: Archant

A rare ‘Flower Moon’ will be visible over Suffolk tonight – will you be trying to get a picture?

Astronomer Neil Norman watching out for the Chinese rocket stage. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Astronomer Neil Norman will be watching out for the re-entry of the Chinese rocket stage. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The ‘Flower Moon’ is the name given to May’s supermoon, the last one that will be visible until April 2021.

The celestial event is expected to be visible early in the morning as well as after sunset, with Suffolk and north Essex enjoying mostly clear skies overnight.

Suffolk astronomer Neil Norman said: “It is named the ‘Flower Moon’ by native Americans because it symbolises the end of frosts and brings in warmer weather and fertile conditions for the flowers and crops.

“It has also been called Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon and Corn Planting Moon.”

How do I get a good view of the ‘Flower Moon’?

The moon will be clear and bright in the sky – and you do not need any special astronomy equipment to get a good view.

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Mr Norman said: “On Wednesday it rises at 8.47pm and sets tomorrow morning at 5.48am.

“All you need is a clear sky and your eyes.

“If you use binoculars or telescope on a full moon, it becomes very dazzling to the eyes. It won’t hurt you but it’s not very pleasant to do.”

However due to the current coronavirus lockdown in the UK, make sure you’re staying in your home and not making an unnecessary trip outside.

Why is it called a supermoon?

Supermoons are visible when a full moon is particularly close to earth in its orbit.

Mr Norman said: “The scientific name we astronomers use for a ‘supermoon’ is Perigee-Syzygy.

“The term ‘supermoon’ was coined in 1979 by the American astrologer, Richard Nolle, and is 7% visibly larger than a normal full moon and some 15% brighter.”

“The moon is currently 224,370 miles from Earth and located in the constellation of Libra,” he added.

Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, told the PA news agency: “Technically the exact moment of full moon is 11.45am [on Thursday], however the moon will not be visible in the sky in the UK at that time.

“But the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear bigger than usual on Thursday morning.”

He added: “Times for moonrise and set vary slightly across the UK, but not by more than about 10 minutes or so.”

Are you staying up to get a picture of the Flower Moon? Send us your pictures with your name and location and you could appear in our gallery!

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